Healthy behaviours

At WDP, we recognise that healthy behaviours have an impact on the wellbeing of not only those with substance misuse issues, but on all of us.

We are often only motivated to improve our lifestyle when our health deteriorates. This page provides support and advice for individuals who wish to improve their health.

Four specific health risk behaviours have been identified as responsible for chronic diseases. These include, a lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and stress.

Physical Activity

Physical activity is beneficial in helping you to maintain a healthy weight, and a healthy body. Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the gym, and doing more exercise can be easily incorporated as part of your daily life.

Small changes such as getting off the bus one stop earlier, or walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift can make all the difference.

It is recommended that we take at least 10,000 steps every day, with research showing that walking can help build stamina, burn excess calories and help keep your heart healthy.


Maintaining a balanced diet is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and by following a few simple steps you can improve your understanding of how to obtain the food necessary for good nutrition.

Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and strokes. Being underweight can also negatively affect your health.

You can check whether you are a healthy weight by using the Healthy Weight Calculator.

Top tips for a healthy diet:

  • It is recommended that men have 2,500 calories a day and that women should have 2,000 calories a day
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables - it is recommended that we eat at least 5 portions of different types of fruit and vegetables every day
  • Eat more fish
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
  • Reduce your intake of salt
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water everyday

shutterstock_54369673.jpgThe Eatwell plate highlights the different types of food that make up our diet and shows the proportions of each type we should eat to help maintain a healthy diet.

It is important that you eat the right amount of calories, so that you can balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.


Smoking cessation

There are many benefits to quitting smoking. The benefits are wide-ranging and are outlined below:

  • Stopping smoking improves fertility
  • Stopping smoking leads to younger looking skin
  • Stopping smoking leads to whiter teeth
  • Stopping smoking lets you breathe more easily
  • Stopping smoking increases life expectancy
  • Stopping smoking makes you feel less stressed
  • Stopping smoking improves smell and taste
  • Stopping smoking improves energy levels

Passive smoking can increase a non-smoker's risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease and stroke and it increases the risk of children getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, croup and bronchitis and asthma.

Children that grow up around around smokers are three times more likely to get lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.

For steps on how to reduce your smoking, please visit the NHS livewell advice here.

Managing stress

We can all feel stressed when we have too much to do, too much on our minds, or when we feel like people are demanding too much from us or dealing with situations that we do not have control over.

When stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage your health, your mood, productivity relationships and overall quality of life. Stress affects everybody differently; there are a number of warning signs and symptoms.